The first thing we need to focus on after our own faith and attitude is our marriage relationship.
Why is this so important? A marriage is the foundation of the home. If there is strife in your marriage, it will be very difficult to cultivate a peaceful home.
A Wife of Contention or a Wife of Peace?
Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman. -Proverbs 21:9
Yikes! Solomon says it is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop than in a house shared with a contentious woman! In other proverbs, Solomon drives home his point with other analogies–a contentious wife is like a constant dripping (Proverbs 19:13), and it would be better to dwell in the wilderness than with a contentious and angry woman (Proverbs 21:19).
If I am nagging and quarrelsome toward my husband, there will be no peace in my home.
Furthermore, in addition to creating an atmosphere of discord between husband and wife, that spirit of bitterness will eat away at the wife’s inner peace as well, just as we saw yesterday in discussing Ma Ingalls and Mrs. Oleson. Outward bitterness and contention only reflects what is inside.
The great thing about it is that we don’t have to remain contentious wives.
One of the most prevalent myths of marriage and romance is that it’s all about “feelings.” We get so caught up in our feelings, but we should never be driven by them. Our feelings are fickle! Instead, we should strive to act in a way that lines up with scripture, and the feelings (the ones that matter) will follow suit.
We can change our attitudes by changing our actions.
My Marriage Secret
Admittedly, my husband and I have only been married for going-on-10 years. I’m not an expert on marriage. However, I don’t think it needs to be as complicated as we try to make it sometimes. You could spend days and weeks reading all the literature and info on marriage, but it all comes down to action, and that is my secret: Do something intentionally kind for your husband every day.
It sounds so simple, but the truth is that sometimes in the busyness of laundry, jobs, dirty diapers, and the general chaos of life, those intentional acts of kindness for our spouses get lost in the shuffle. I don’t just mean being kind in your usual interactions with your husband (though that’s a no-brainer–do that too!), I mean be intentional.
Do something every day that is just for your husband, to show him your love. It can be something big or something small. Go out of your way to tell him how much you appreciate him for being a good provider. Cook his favorite meal. Surprise him by doing a chore that would usually fall to him.
I first started this back during my Intentional Marriage challenge, and it was a game changer for me and our marriage.
Small acts of kindness can have a huge impact!
- You are following God’s word. There are countless verses, especially in the new testament that command us to love one another with our actions.
- You are blessing your husband. If a contentious woman is difficult to live with and should be avoided, a kind woman is a draw for her husband. I love the quote from Martin Luther, “Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.” Kindness helps make your home a place of refuge for your husband, a haven.
- You are changing yourself. You might be surprised at how much your attitude can change when you practice this, even if you have to force it at first. Push through. Practice discipline. Bless your husband and see how it blesses your entire household at the same time. If you press on, it will come more naturally to you to serve your husband through acts of love and kindness.
Basically, I believe that being intentionally kind to your husband opens the door for many of the other things that are so important in a marriage.
The Intentional Marriage printable pack (free) has some cards with simple ideas for random acts of kindness for your husband. You can also find a larger list of suggestions in the index of the Intentional Marriage book.
Note: Please know that I am speaking of “normal” marriages and not abusive ones. I am also not in any way blaming a wife for a husband’s indiscretions here. I am speaking of day-to-day strife and discord–the kind that comes from complacency and selfishness in an otherwise healthy relationship.
Related Articles & Resources
- Intentional Marriage Book–my book, which is a 31 day devotional for wives.
- 5 Ways to Ruin a Good Marriage–a tongue-in-cheek look at what NOT to do.
- Marriage isn’t about Romance–remember the little things and what matters.
- What if my husband doesn’t deserve a “Proverbs 31 wife”?
- 52 Uncommon Dates–a great little book of date ideas, questions for reflection, scripture, and mini-devotional thoughts to go with each one.
- The Best Marriage is Grounded in Christ
- Reset a Bad Day in Your Marriage
There are so many “secrets” to a happy marriage that I couldn’t list them all in one post…what is yours?